1. The world ocean covering 71% of the surfaces of globe is regarded as the last major frontier for exploration, and development of resources to sustain mankind in the future. Population growth, near depletion of vital minerals and fossil energy sources on land, scarcity of additional cultivable soils, crop failures, advance of desert margins, food scarcity and protein deficiency, pollution, problems of disposing of dangerous wastes etc. have all led to intense international interest in the oceans. Oceans are perceived as future of food, energy, minerals, chemicals and space.
2. The Indian Oil and Gas sector has made great strides to occupy an important position in the world of petroleum and natural gas. Hydrocarbon-Vision 2025 document of the Government of India (GoI), broadly defines the objectives to be attained by the Oil and Gas Industry in a time bound manner.
3. The growing use of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea in the near future has added new dimensions to the maritime security concerns of the nation. Under the new initiatives, all offshore sedimentary basins would be surveyed to assess the hydrocarbon potential of the country. In addition, a National Gas Hydrate Program (NGHP) has been formulated by the Government to extract gas hydrates from our seabed. As a result, there would be a spurt of activities in Exploration and Production (E&P) of oil and gas in our offshore areas in the years ahead. Consequently a large number of Vessels will operate in our Coastal/Maritime Zones.
4. Research, Survey, Exploration and Exploitation (RSEE) activity demand special types of Vessels such as Survey Vessels, Research Vessels, Drill Ships, Rigs, Supply and Support Vessels, Diving and Support Vessels, Pipe laying Barges, Jack Up Rigs, Dumb Barges, Chase Boats, vessels under Relaxation of Cabotage Restriction et al.
5. All Vessels/Rigs involved in RSEE activities in the Indian Territorial Waters (TW) and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are required to obtain Ministry of Defence (MoD) Security Clearance prior to commencing these activities. On behalf of MoD, this clearance is accorded by IHQ MoD (N)/Command HQ depending upon the category of the Vessel.
6. The newly developed MoD web portal is aimed at facilitating the applicants for submitting their proposals online for seeking MoD Security Clearance for undertaking RSEE activities. The Online System will establish an effective, speedy and transparent mechanism to process these proposals.